Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

A Quick Word On Tomorrow's (Today's, For Us) Opening Ceremony

Illustration for article titled A Quick Word On Tomorrow's (Today's, For Us) Opening Ceremony

The Olympics begin tomorrow and they're in China, so, you know, it should be a rather fascinating world event, if you're into fascinating world events. And we are proud to welcome back our Deadspin Beijing Bureau, our own trio of correspondents living in China and reporting on everything they see, Olympics related and otherwise. The opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics starts tomorrow morning at 8:08 am (for you guys, that is). It seems undeniable that this moment, rather than any upcoming competition, is the glorious and controversial culmination of more than 7 years of planning and 40 billion dollars worth of infrastructure that has left indelible physical and social changes to the fabric of Beijing.It’s going to be a stunning spectacle, for sure — no country does festive explosions quite like China. For instance, we become aware of our excruciating hangovers every Sunday morning around 9 am after being awaken by the crackle of fireworks exploding in the courtyard of our apartment complex (it’s just like an alarm clock)… Don’t ask us what’s being celebrated, exactly. The point is, the fireworks you’re going to see broadcast on NBC tomorrow morning will make the scene on the 4th of July in Manhattan look like electrified foil in the microwave. It’s going to be bizarre, fascinating, awkwardly over-the-top and presented on an unimaginable scale. We are sports fans and frankly, we’ve never cared too much about the Olympics. Vague excitement has always dissipated into fleeting interest of daily medal count graphics on SportsCenter amidst the distractions of summer. In our old lives in America, we’d watch basketball, maybe some diving or whatever, as background noise from our televisions. So we understand why one might be disinterested in the Games. But the opening ceremony tomorrow night isn’t about sports; it’s world history. Soon, the rest of the world will refer to a pre- and post- Olympic China and the point between the two eras will be, definitively, 8/08/08 at 8:08 pm. This thing is as symbolic as an event can be. The way the world is going, seminal events in social history won’t be battles or speeches… but heavily produced, made-for-TV spectacles. Like this one. And if that interests you, well, you might want to tune in. Remember, the Deadspin Beijing Bureau can be reached at

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